📚Set in Philadelphia. Sandra reviews #thriller Easy Street by J Gregory Smith for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Sandra.

Sandra blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Sandra has been reading Easy Street by J Gregory Smith.

Book cover for crime fiction, Easy Street by J Gregory Smith, set against a picture of a street lamp from a free photo from Pixabay.

Easy Street is the third book in the Reluctant Hustler series featuring Kyle Logan. Kyle did not set out to do what he does, but inherited a ready-made ‘business’ from his former partner, Ryan. By helping out desperate people with no one else to turn to, he is able to call in favours when he needs assistance. As this is the third book in the series, the team are well established and need all their combined skills to defeat the criminal elements they are up against.

While it is always satisfying when the bad guys get their comeuppance, the best thing about this story is the characterisation. They are an unusual bunch of misfits, but they work well together. Fortunately, they have skills and a plan to extricate themselves from the serious situation they find themselves drawn into and hopefully stay alive. Set in Philadelphia, Easy Street is a fast-paced, tense and extremely violent story, but the black humour and banter between the characters takes the edge off.

Although you could probably read Easy Street as a standalone, I decided to read the books in order (I don’t like starting a series in the middle if I can help it). I found it well worth taking the time to read Quick Fix and Short Cut as I understood the characters and backstory a lot better as a result. I really enjoyed this book and hope there will be a fourth one before too long.

Orange rose book description
Book description

Walking the Tightrope
Nearly two years after the death of his friend, Ryan, Kyle Logan finds himself the unlikely leader of a group of misfits who operate outside the law as they target crooks and scammers. In the past, Kyle had to rely on his friend’s shady contacts just to survive violent competitors and complete prior deals.
Now he’s starting to realize that these connections earn him power and respect but also drag him deeper into the life. Every favor he receives comes with strings and cutting those strings usually involves fresh obligations.
In order to help others who have nowhere else to turn, Kyle sometimes works with criminals like the Philly Irish Mob but he tries to avoid getting involved with the gangster’s more intense activities.
When not running his hustles, Kyle has taken the opportunity to leverage his connections to finance and acquire a legitimate (if dull) import facility at the Port of Philadelphia. The port represents a great opportunity to rebuild his life but he’s about to learn the hard way that shady friends come with enemies who see Kyle as one more obstacle to be crushed.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Philadelphia Set #Thriller Quick Fix by @JGregorySmith3 #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Quick Fix by J Gregory Smith


4 out of 5 stars

This book has a great opening.  Military contractor Kyle Logan messes up his already messed up life by assaulting his wife’s divorce lawyer, who also happens to be her lover.  He’s then offered a role in the theft of some pieces of valuable artwork, by his friend Ryan.  Kyle is also suffering from injuries caused by an IED when he was in Iraq.

I warmed to the characters and the writing style straight away.  There’s plenty of dark stuff going on, but lots of humour, too – I liked the observations about characters, and often just the way stuff was phrased (‘I hated losing her to a puke like Fenster’).  The guy-on-his-uppers-with-wife-who-has-moved-on-to-a-more-straight-and-successful-new-man thing is an oft-used scenario in this genre in both books and on screen (I’m currently watching the TV series Get Shorty – there it is again!), but it works every time, and J Gregory Smith has painted all participants most colourfully.

When Kyle realises that involvement in Ryan’s criminal schemes means re-acquaintance with childhood chum-turned-gangster Danny ‘Iceballs’ Sheehan, he knows his life is not going to be easy.  Smith has portrayed the atmosphere of the criminal underworld of Philadelphia so well; this book is fast-paced and flows very well, with a convincing plot, and is, basically, a good, solid novel.  I haven’t got anything negative to say about it.  Nice one.

Book description

Military contractor Kyle Logan’s luck has gone from bad to worse ever since he returned home to Philadelphia following an injury by an IED in Iraq. First, his marriage crumbles, then his career after he’s pushed to the brink and assaults his wife’s lover, who is also her divorce attorney.

When Kyle’s shady best friend turns up and offers him a “once in a lifetime” chance to regain his job and his life, all for just a couple night’s work, Kyle figures he’s got nothing to lose. The police, Philly Irish Mob and a couple of drug cartels all think otherwise.

Now forced to fight for his life, and those around him, Kyle must turn to allies from his old neighborhood in a desperate effort to stay alive and out of prison.

Quick Fix is one man’s fall into a world of unintended consequences that seeks to tread the razor-thin lines between right and wrong, loyalty and treachery.

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